An astonishing expose by Social Investigations has revealed the role played last year by Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO, in pushing the interests of private healthcare providers. Bubb had chaired the Government’s ‘Choice and Competition’ sub group – as part of the so-called ‘listening exercise, set up after vociferous opposition to the plans for NHS reform.
The document reveals not only that Bubb had secret meetings with the ‘NHS Partners Network’, a private healthcare trade and lobby group, but also agreed effectively to act as their covert spokesperson.
David Worskett the director of the network described how he had a lengthy discussion with Bubb early in the process at which “we agreed on the approach he would take, what the key issues are, and how he would handle the politics”. And then went on to say that “…he (Bubb) has not deviated from this for a moment throughout the period.”
Later in the process, “….a number of members secured individual meetings with him, thus reinforcing and validating the messages.” This was followed in May 2011 by another ‘lengthy’ meeting under the auspices of ‘Reform’ a right wing think tank. This meeting was also attended by David Bennett, the chair of Monitor, the NHS regulator.
Bubb’s complicity with this lobby is praised fulsomely: “the arguments in favour of choice, competition, plurality and economic regulation put forward by the small handful of like-minded members ably led by Sir Stephen Bubb have often carried the day and won more support than we might have expected.”
So there we are. This is what our Stephen gets up to on his day off. You can read the whole sordid story here – www.bit.ly/Qy2nSo